Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District

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Isanti SWCD

Serving the residents and conserving our natural resources

The Mission of the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District is to provide guidance; to inspire action; and to bring innovative resources to the table so that people can become leaders in keeping land and water healthy for future generations.
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Nature Photo Contest 2021

The Isanti SWCD is hosting a Nature Photo Contest from July 18-July 31. Pictures should highlight something of nature in Isanti County and do not need to be taken during the contest dates.

Images should be sent to

See the official rules here

New Cover Crop Program

We are excited to announce our new Cover Crop Program! Cover crops have been scientifically proven to improve the health of your soil. For more information or to sign up for the program please contact Matthew Remer at or 763-689-3271.

COVID-19 & SWCD Operations

COVID-19 Update:

In an effort to protect the health of our staff and community, the ISWCD is currently closed to the public and many staff are working from home. You can reach us by:

Calling our office at: 763-689-3271. See the Contact Us page for other ways to contact staff members.

We will do our best to return your message in a timely manner and look forward to working with you face-to-face in the near future!

AIS Volunteer Event

Starry Trek 2021

At Starry Trek, you will meet at a local training site hosted by one of our local partners where you will receive a brief training on how to identify starry stonewort and other target aquatic invasive species and how to follow the search protocols. Groups are then sent out to nearby priority lakes to follow the protocols and bring back any suspicious organisms. Starry Trek is a free event and no experience or special equipment is required. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Saturday, August 21st from from 8:00am- 1:00pm. Participants can meet at the Spectacle Lake DNR Access 33423 COBALT CIR NW Cambridge MN.

To sign up go to:
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Jaqui Baker Recognized for Outstanding Work in Conservation

Congratulations to Jacqui Baker, recipient of the 2020 Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist Award! Each year, the SWCD recognizes individuals and/or organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources.

In early October I [Tiffany Determan, SWCD District Manager] spent the better half of a morning trekking with Jacqui on her 80 plus acres located in Isanti Township. After listening to her talk about her land and passion for trees, prairie grasses, wetlands, beetles, pigeons (Ok, Ok, all things natural) I reflected on something that Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management, once said. He said: “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong thing is legal.” My thought was, it must have been people like her that he was reflecting on.

It is clear to the SWCD that Jacqui whole-heatedly believes in conservation. After purchasing her property over 20 years ago she began an extensive effort to rehabilitate the land and has done an amazing job. A few of Jacqui’s great conservation efforts include:

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  • Benefits of Native Aquatic Plants Workshop

    Benefits of Native Aquatic Plants Workshop

    Benefits of Native Aquatic Plants Workshop. The Isanti SWCD is hosting a Benefits of Native Aquatic Plants Workshop on Wednesday August 25 from 6:00-7:00pm. The event will take place online over Zoom.  The speaker will be Dr. Ray Newman, a professor from the University of Minnesota. The talk will include topics such as how plants contribute to a lake's nutrient cycle, how native plants alter a lake, and management options. This workshop is open to all and will be especially beneficial to those with lakeshore properties! We hope you can make it! The Zoom link will be posted here as well as on our Facebook page as the date gets closer.  Read More
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Riparian Protection

Rum River Habitat and Floodwater Protection

Do you love fishing the Rum River? Do you live along or near the Rum River south of Grandy? If you answered yes to either of these questions you will be interested and excited to learn about this project!

The Isanti SWCD restored flow to a one-mile segment of the Rum River that was abandoned due to a man-made diversion dug over 50 years ago. Due to increased rain events over the last 20 years, the diversion began causing a number of problems including the disconnection of the river from its floodplain (this can result in increased flooding to downstream communities) and widening of the river upstream (this can result in erosion of the streambanks and loss of fish habitat).

To resolve the problems, the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District (ISWCD) secured a $250,000 grant from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment and funding from The Nature Conservancy to hire Minnesota Native Landscapes to fill the diversion and redirect flow into the abandoned river channel. The project was completed in Spring 2019. In Summer 2021 vegetation was planted on the banks of the project to prevent erosion.

If you are interested in learning more about the project, or seeing the completed project, consider taking a canoe trip down the Rum River this summer (access the river from Co. Rd. 14). OR, contact Tiffany Determan, Isanti SWCD @ 763-689-3271

Green Lake Shoreline Restoration

Improving Green Lake

Green lake is going to look different in the future! The Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District is working with the Green Lake Improvement District to get Green Lake off the impaired water bodies list. This means in the future the lake will look clearer, cleaner and have more vegetation and wildlife!

One of the first steps to improving Green Lake's quality is reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the lake. The long-term goal requires close to a 2,000-pound reduction in phosphorus (the nutrient that limits the amount of algae and aquatic plants). This is a lofty goal and there is not a single source of pollution to the lake; rather, it will take a consistent and persistent effort by many landowners. Phosphorus reduction can be achieved through shoreline restorations. Other conservation projects include cover crops, invasive species management, and runoff control.

Landowners with restored shorelines don't just get the benefit of helping take their lake off impaired waterbodies list! These conservationist also have reported less shoreline erosion, beautiful wildflowers which bring in more butterflies, and more wildlife! If you live in the Green Lake area and are interested in doing a conservation project please contact us. We can help plan your project and discuss the financial assistance that's available.

Isanti SWCD Calendar

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Isanti SWCD Newsletter

For the latest happening at the Isanti SCWD, please view or download our newsletter.

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2020 Annual Highlights

2020 was a busy year for Isanti SWCD. Click here to read all about our most recent Conservation programs and priorities. We would like to send out a special thank you to all our Federal, State, and Local partners who support our mission to preserve, protect and enhance water quality, soil, and other natural resources in Isanti County. We’re already planning great things for 2021 including targeted agricultural outreach, lakeshore restorations on Green Lake, and conservation planning in the Lower St. Croix Watershed.

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KBEK Radio Interview

One of our conservation technicians got to speak with KBEK about their work. Todd Kulaf discussed the Isanti SWCD and his conservation project at Spectacle Lake. Thank you to KBEK for talking to us! If you missed it you can listen to it here.

logo SWCD Isanti Final MWA 8       KBEK

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    Oak wilt, caused by the non-native fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, is responsible for killing large numbers of oak trees annually in Minnesota. Oak Wilt is most severe in red oak group species such as Northern Red Oak and Northern Pin Oak. The Isanti County Parks Department has put together this brochure as a guide for managing Oak wilt: Oak Wilt in Isanti County To learn more and see good photos of diseased trees, you can also visit the U of M Residents can call the SWCD and the Isanti County Parks Department for names of contractors who can help with trees and root trenching on your property.
    The Isanti SWCD rents a seed drill suitable for planting native grasses and wildflowers. Cost is $12/acre. Rental must be within 20 miles of the City of Isanti. Rental has a $150 minimum fee within Isanti County. Rental minimum outside of Isanti county is $250. A $161.81 damage deposit is required at the time of rental. For safety reasons, we ask that you don't drive over 20 mph while towing the seeder. Call Matthew Remer at 763-689-3271 to schedule.
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    The Isanti SWCD can help you with conservation efforts on your property with guidance and financial assistance.We are here for your questions and to help.
    Enhance your property with trees that are especially suited to your property. Container, bare root and seedlings are all available through the Isanti SWCD. The Isanti SWCD tree sale is now open for all your landscaping and conservation needs.